30 May 2011

Greetings from His Eminence Metr Lazar of Simferopol

Greetings from His Eminence, Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol’ and the Crimea, delivered at Holy Trinity Convent in Simferopol’ on May 30, 2011

In Simferopol’, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna Romanoff, met with Metropolitan Lazar.

On May 30, 2011, at the Holy Trinity Convent in Simferopol’, Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol’ and the Crimea met with the Head of the Russian Imperial House of Romanoff, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna Romanoff.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Lazar, read the following greeting to the Grand Duchess on this occasion:

“Your Imperial Highness, Maria Wladimirovna,

“I am genuinely glad to be able to welcome you to the blessed territory of the Crimea. For the first time in more than 90 years, a most august member of the House of Romanoff has come to the Crimea! The history of Orthodoxy in the Crimea is closely linked with the history of the Imperial House of Romanoff. The Crimea was united with Russia during the reign of your most august great-great-grandmother, Empress Catherine II, the revered memory of whom is preserved in the hearts of all the people of the Crimea. The formation of the Tauris Diocese was decreed by your most august great-grandfather Emperor Alexander II after having read a report from the Holy Synod calling for the unification of all the parishes in the Crimea, to which report was also attached a request from the populace of the Crimea to permit the formation of a new diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Tauris for the people who had settled there after the unification of the Crimea with Russia. On November 16/29, 1859, the emperor inscribed on these documents his decision: “Make it so.” On May 30 (12 June according to the secular calendar), 1869, the Tauris Seminary was opened by order of yet another Imperial degree, and consecrated, along with the seminary’s church, on August 19, 1873.

“Your most august great-grandfather, Emperor Alexander II, the Liberator, offered substantial assistance to the construction of the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevskii, which was destroyed during the years of troubles and which is being restored by us now. In addition, the diocese of St Gurii (Karpov), the former archbishop, benefited from Imperial decrees authorizing the construction of new monasteries and churches in Simferopol’ and other towns of Tauris, including chapels on the estates of Romanoff Grand Dukes, your close relatives.

“But also linked with the history of the Crimea are the tragic events of the Civil War, which we recall to this day with enormous pain. In memory of those days in Yalta, a chapel was built in honor of the New Martyrs and Confessor of Russia on the coast, and also a chapel in Bagreevka, in memory of our countrymen who were murdered there.

“We are pleased that, on the threshold of the 400-th anniversary of the House of Romanoff and its service to Russia, you have come to visit the holy lands of the Crimea, which your pious ancestors also in their day visited. I hope that this visit will be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership with the Diocese of Simferopol’ and the Crimea, in the same way the Russian Imperial House has for so many years served the Fatherland in full partnership with the First Hierarch of our Church, His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.”

In prayerful memory of her visit, the metropolitan presented Grand Duchess Maria Romanoff an icon of St. Luke. Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna thanked His Eminence for his warm words. She also thanked all those who had surrounded her with warmth and attention during her visit to the Crimea—an extraordinary place, a place that was very much loved by her Imperial ancestors, a place that she had always longed to visit. As a token of her visit, the Grand Duchess presented Metropolitan Lazar with a book on the Romanoff dynasty.

Before the relics of St. Luke, Metropolitan Lazar served a moleben for the health of Her Imperial Highness. H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna prayed to St. Luke, the intercessor of the Crimea, then venerated the relics and received a blessing from His Eminence.

During her visit to Simferopol’, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna visited the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and venerated the relics of St. Gurii (Karpov), archbishop of Tauris.

For further information, see the official web site for the Diocese of Simferopol’ and the Crimea of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate at: http://www.crimea.orthodoxy.su/Chronica/2011-05-30-Lazar-Maria_Romanova.html

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